By Alexandria Hoff


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thursday marks one year since 14 students and three staff members were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The tragedy transformed the national conversation on gun violence.

But some say more still needs to happen. What has changed in the past year?

On Feb. 14, 2018, another synonym for deadly school violence entered into our vocabulary: “Parkland.”

Nikolas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, confessed to shooting and killing 17 students and staff members.

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Immediately, school districts in Philadelphia responded.

In Philadelphia, officials fine-tuned lockdown procedures.

In South Jersey, students walked out of classrooms in support of school safety.

Two weeks after Parkland, a panel of teachers sounded off inside our Eyewitness News studios.

In March, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced a school safety task force.

Delaware County schools enhanced its panic button system, and this month, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed panic button legislation statewide.

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Eyewitness News was also there as Arch Bishop Wood High School in Bucks County became the first in the country to install artificial intelligence software to detect firearms.

“There’s more talk about it but I think that there are a lot of other issues in the country right now that are distracting from school safety,” said Sheryl Fidoten, of Cherry Hill.

“Teaching kids ways to stay safe in certain situations I think would be really helpful,” said Amanda Morgan, of Cherry Hill.

“It’s a shame, but it seems any time stuff like this happens, there’s a lot of talks in the weeks after, the month after. But it seems like Congress doesn’t really take any legitimate action,” David Freedman, of Cherry Hill.

On the state level, 123 new gun laws emerged in the year following the Parkland massacre.

(Credit: CBS3)

In Delaware, reforms included procedures to seize guns from people deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Pennsylvania now requires people convicted of domestic violence to give up their guns within 24 hours.

New Jersey’s reforms were numerous, including a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and a requirement for health care professionals to alert police if they feel a patient should not possess a gun.

Some states did expand Stand Your Ground laws with provisions that would allow residents to carry guns in schools and churches for protection.

As reporters, we have been on those scenes over this past year, talking to parents who are truly desperate for answers – whether it’s guns, mental health, metal detectors or clear backpacks.

It seems like at this point, the effort is made but the conversation just continues on.

Alexandria Hoff

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